- 90 Proof
- Barrel #011
I think one of the best things out there in the bourbon world are the inexpensive private barrels. Store picks of Buffalo Trace, Knob Creek, Elijah Craig and Larceny, just to name a few, can provide some incredible bang for the buck. And as far as being priced right, I'd throw the Sazerac Rye in the mix as well.
Now, I've only recently begun seeing and trying Sazerac Rye store picks, so the jury is still out as to whether they provide the same "bang." But, at only $30, it is certainly one of the more affordable ryes in any private barrel program. Plus, Sazerac generally has a good, easy-going flavor profile. So, of course, once Binny's got their initial batch of single barrel selects, I quickly nabbed one off the shelf.
The nose was full of light and smooth caramel notes. I also got a sweet nougat note that fit with that creamy profile. It had a light nuttiness to it, kind of like almond. It all blended together to create this sort of breakfast pastry note. It even had a light touch of cinnamon spice to round it all out.
Given the nose, the flavor kind of took me back. I got notes of pine and sweet cherry right up front. It wasn't punchy, though, and my initial impression was that it was very good. I also got a little bit of that cinnamon right up front, noticeable on the tip of my tongue on each sip.
Those up-front flavors quickly gave way to flavors more consistent with the nose. I got that sweet, creamy nougat, as well as a touch of chocolate. While the caramel didn't really come through, the almond certainly did, but more in the form of amaretto liqueur. It added just a touch of richness and depth to the whiskey.
The finish did not leave much of an impression. It primarily consisted of that sweet nougat note, perhaps a touch of caramel, and a trace amount of cinnamon. It was actually a bit fleeting, and this was really the only negative that I have. While some of that is attributable to the low proof, even for the proof I found the finish to be lacking.
That being said, while I took some time getting around to actually opening it, once I did, I found that I made my way through it fairly quickly. It was basically a better version of Sazerac Rye, and what more could you ask for out of this? At $30, this absolutely provided that bang for the buck that I wanted, and I'll certainly continue to add these to my shelf when I come across them.